Friday, July 10, 2009

Every Ukelele Needs a Case

My youngest son, Alex just turned 14, and his big gift from us was a soprano ukelele. We couldn't find a case that he liked and that was the right size. So I told him I would make him one. And I *gasp*, actually did. Within a week even. It helps when your "client" lives with you, enforcing deadlines, poking and prodding.
We found a really long sport zipper, and he said he liked this soft flannel for the lining.

See, the ukelele looks so snug and happy in there.

It fits in pretty easily.
I worried about making it in white, a kind of canvas/upholstery weight thing that I had in my stash. But his idea is to doodle on it and let his friends help him art it up.

It was hard to get the dimensions just right because I'm really 3-d challenged when it comes to sewing. So it is a little too baggy in some spots and too tight in others. But overall, I think it looks pretty good. I originally made it with the black hand straps, but then he decided that "oh I'd like a shoulder strap too", so that is kind of tacked on as an afterthought instead of sewn into the end seams like I normally would have.

I used the box that the ukelele came in as a pattern for the fabric pieces and as the stiffening for the whole case. I thought that it needed more than just a bag to keep it safe, especially if he is bringing it places or to school. I covered the cardboard box in an adhesive vinyl shelf liner that we've had for ages and never used to keep the cardboard from collapsing from any moisture. This means that the bag isn't washable though, so we'll see how that goes. I can always take the box out if we need to.

It only took a few hours, and most of that was puzzling over the shapes and how to put them together, I hope he uses it for years to come. It is fun to have a second ukelele player in the house, as Zach has a baritone ukelele. I told the boys they need to learn "Dueling Banjos" on ukelele, I think it would be a YouTube viral sensation, but that's probably because I'm their mother....


Diana Troldahl said...

That is so cool! I love the idea of his friends and him arting it up!
My brother in law is a fairly well-known ukelele player, Brian Hefferen (he and my sis-in-love are "The Fabulous Heftones") and he has some wonderful songs he's written, and more he has transcribed for the uke on Youtube (search for heftone)

Jaye said...

I am so impressed with your efforts on the uke case front. From this view, it looks really professional! His idea of arting it up is fabulous as well. Show him these doodles: they might inspire him. I think Sharpies wold work very well on canvas and they come in a lot of great colors now.